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Home theater audio set up. What to look for?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 25th, 2019 3:28 pm
[OP]
Member
Mar 19, 2007
215 posts
25 upvotes

Home theater audio set up. What to look for?

I'm looking to get a sound system going for my home theater.right now I'm just running the tv speakers but i see such variations on price that i don't know what is absurdly considered "good". I see htib setups for $700,then i see SINGLE tower speakers for $700. I know audio is subjective and really depends on the person but that it's such a massive sweep in price. Visions has Polk audio S60 tower speakers(pair) for $630 and i was like wow,that's a great price,but are they any good? I don't even have a receiver yet,which is another problem in itself but at least seem less subjective than speakers. 2.0, 3.0, 2.1, 5.1, do i go from 2 to 3 first or 2 to 2.1? I was honestly going to get the Polk S60 and go from there but i really don't know audio companies and which are considered good. I just need help in all this,not just finding a path, but finding deals too
4 replies
Newbie
Dec 6, 2018
19 posts
8 upvotes
You're absolutely correct in that a lot of speaker performance is subjective. I used to sell that type of equipment and there are folks who think that huge Klipsch speakers are the best sounding ever, and others who really don't care for them at all (claim they sound "tinny"). To each their own. My best suggestion there would be to go to a store and actually listen to different speakers to find out which ones you like.

Personally I have in-wall speakers as that's what fit our design. So I went to a bunch of stores to listen to various brands, price ranges, etc. I went with Polk Audio as a brand for all but the sub and I'm completely happy.

You'll also have to consider how big of a setup you'd like to have. Do you want a traditional 5.1 (5 satellite speakers and 1 subwoofer) setup? A bit more in a 7.1 setup (typically a Dolby Atmos setup with at least 2 ceiling speakers) or a bit less in a soundbar/sub (2.1). That decision has a lot of factors... is this a new build or are you just adding to your existing already built room, do you have a preference for large speakers or would you prefer ones that are more discrete, etc.

Receivers will range a bit too, but for the most part - decent ones can be had for under $1000 for sure.
[OP]
Member
Mar 19, 2007
215 posts
25 upvotes
thanks for the reply
This is going into an already existing room. i can't quite remember the dimensions, but its something like 11 x 15 feet. I have a TV already, 65" and is along the 15' wall so a sitting distance of around 9 1/2 feet.
I would like to eventually move up to a 5.1 or 5.1.2 setup but i gotta figure out how i'd do height channels unless i get one of those up shooting speakers.
as for speaker size, i like the idea of standing speakers just so they are all setup no need for stands or whatever, but that is a premium that i could probably put into good stands. Ive seen people recommend a Fluance speaker package but i dont know if they ever go on sale, and i'm a sucker for a sale, thats why i assume the polk speakers are such a good deal.

and honestly, i dont need loud. clarity and sound stage are more important to me than deafening helicopters and bombs
Newbie
Dec 6, 2018
19 posts
8 upvotes
I haven't had much experience with the Fluance brand, but a quick search on Amazon for their home theater offerings doesn't seem like a terrible price point - bearing in mind that I've never actually heard the speakers.
As far as upgrading to the height channels in an existing room, you're right in that the up-firing speakers is probably your easiest bet. There's plenty of options out there now for these types of speakers and even sound bars that claim to create the same effect.

Being a sucker for a sale is probably the core of a lot of folks on this forum, so we won't fault you there :) From my experience selling home theater equipment, markup on speakers is huge and if you can find a sale on a particular brand you are interested in (let's say Fluance in this case), then definitely go for it. Otherwise, maybe go to a store and haggle the price as we know there's plenty of room to move in speaker prices. The only thing that I would think would hold a vendor back from adjusting the price for you to get a sale would be a manufacturer's mandated price. Apple is a good example (although not speakers), in that their price that they sell to vendors is pretty much set and there's not a lot of room for movement in that price regardless of how much you buy. So unless the vendor is going to eat the cost of the "sale", you're out of luck. As an example there, Best Buy would put on a sale for $100 off a MacBook and you get a free laptop bag. Best Buy would probably have to be willing to eat some/most of that cost to give you the laptop bag/discount as Apple most likely wouldn't sponsor that.

Personally, when I found the speakers I wanted - I setup alerts with our favourite triple camel website and just waited for the price to drop (as history had shown that it would)... then made my purchase. I did have to piece it together as not all components went on sale at the same time, but that wasn't a huge deal for me.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Feb 20, 2015
196 posts
128 upvotes
Southern Ontario
Go to an Audio store and listen for yourself. If you just want a Home Theater system, you could get away with a good HTIB system but finding a good one is usually not easy. It's usually a cheap receiver and even worse speakers. You must LISTEN to something first to see what sounds good to you.

Find a good high current receiver/amp, put together a 5.1 system with speakers and a sub that match. I did this with a high current Yamaha receiver and full Paradigm speaker/sub setup. Been rocking for about 15 years now. Paid about $3000 back then. If you don't have the money right now, just concentrate on a good receiver and go to a 2.1 system. You'll be hearing frequencies that your TV speakers aren't capable of reproducing.

This stuff depreciates a great deal so look on Kijiji and you can find good gear for sometimes 30 cents on the dollar. Just have to be diligent to see if it's still good.

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